The A.V. Club's Scores

For 7,779 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 50% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 47% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 2.8 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 61
Highest review score: 100 Stranger Than Paradise
Lowest review score: 0 Contract to Kill
Score distribution:
7779 movie reviews
  1. Rather than defanging the story, sanding down The Standoff At Sparrow Creek’s political implications foregrounds its exceptional dialogue and strong performances, revealing the lean, punchy, beautifully shot ’70s-style thriller underneath the controversial premise.
  2. Might be smarter that the average live-action kids’ movie, but it’s hamstrung by a lack of visual imagination and a generic script.
  3. Brun, who had never acted onscreen before (like almost the entire cast), won Berlin’s Best Actress prize, and her guarded yet tremulous performance is the film’s primary virtue. But she can’t singlehandedly bring depth to the superficial scenario that Martinessi has engineered for this intriguing character.
  4. Reeves is the most human presence on screen, trying and nobly failing to wrestle some emotional truth from every preposterous new plot twist. His labor is the one proof that you’re watching a real movie, and not just being plugged into the low-grade imitation of one in a poorly coded Matrix.
  5. The rest is feel-good painted unenthusiastically by numbers: a repetitive series of artificially inflated character conflicts and tossed-off resolutions, interspersed with slapstick and jokes about prissy rich snobs, ultimately adding up to far less than the sum of its well-worn parts.
  6. This year’s entry into the winter animal-movie canon, A Dog’s Way Home, comes this close to just being a simple, cute animal movie, until the humans complicate things.
  7. Screenwriter Julie Lipson’s well-written, naturalistic dialogue helps pass the time, as does Michelle Lawler’s lovely scenic cinematography. But although what we get instead stands on its own merits, this survival thriller could have used a few more thrills.
  8. The escape-room scenes themselves (a.k.a. the good stuff) are imaginatively conceived and deftly executed enough to justify a late-night cable viewing.
  9. If there are any new jokes left to tell about Holmes, they’re nowhere to be found in the abysmal Holmes & Watson, which might be the worst feature-length film ever made about the “consulting detective” from Baker Street.
  10. Buffalo Boys isn’t terribly concerned with sweeping vistas or slow-burn character development. Its primary function is simply to entertain, which in practical action-movie terms means lots of brawling and lots of blood.
  11. Lopez gets a decent scene partner in Hudgens and an even better one in Leah Remini, who steals the movie as Maya’s brassy, no-nonsense best friend.
  12. It’s the weirdest film of his (Zemeckis) career. One of the worst, too.
  13. An opportunity to see John C. Reilly and Steve Coogan mimic two of early cinema’s most iconic figures, which is this film’s true raison d’être.
  14. It’s an impressive journey unimpressively retold, relying on overly familiar biopic tropes about the difficulty of being a woman in the man’s world of the 1950s.
  15. Apart from one initially funny (but ultimately over-extended) gag involving a fake credits sequence, the material is mostly glib and second-rate—and, when it comes down to it, about as dry, oversimplified, and under-dramatized as a class presentation.
  16. Thematic muddles would matter less if Bumblebee delivered more as an action movie, but despite some neat car-chase complications, this series remains stubbornly averse to shaping its action barrages into satisfying set pieces.
  17. In some ways, The Mule represents a late-period version of classic Eastwood, in that it’s even pokier and more workmanlike than his best work, and sometimes downright strange.
  18. It’s less heartwarming than heart-microwaving.
  19. Capernaum’s neorealist spirit is smothered by its sentimentality and endless string of indignities; it’s as if the film is operating as Zain’s trial defense, every moment making his case that it probably would have been better if he’d never been born.
  20. In the end, Bird Box’s most significant shortcoming is that it’s just too inert and unfocused to work as sci-fi horror.
  21. This is a headache-inducing spectacle that raises more questions than it answers, and does little to inspire viewers to go find the answers themselves. But hey, at least it’s too loud to fall asleep to.
  22. It owns up to its cheese.
  23. Ben Is Back, which buries its promise, premise, and stray traces of insight under a heap of narrative contrivance, leaves you itching for a drama with something solid to actually say about addiction.
  24. It’s a more cynical, and arguably more realistic, depiction of the unique malignancies of fame than this year’s other Oscar-baiting pop musical, "A Star Is Born." But ultimately, it’s no more insightful.
  25. The film is something like a digital tiger itself: an approximation, not exactly the same as the real thing. With the cut to credits, it ceases to exist.
  26. The Great Pretender has its share of dark punchlines, but its central concern is a sympathetic one: what we see in other people and how we would like to see ourselves.
  27. Tyrel is essentially Microaggressions: The Movie.
  28. Unfortunately, like most home movies, it’s of precious little interest to non-relatives.
  29. By focusing on Mary (the subject of its source material), the film feels lopsided, especially without any other interesting characters apart from Elizabeth.
  30. It’s exorcism’s greatest hits, if exorcism were a band playing 300 casinos and state fairs a year.

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